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Serving 'The Guest': Günther Anders at the Grand Seaside Hotel

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journal contribution
posted on 2010-04-14, 14:52 authored by Dirk Bunzel, Martin Parker
Drawing on data collected during 14 months of ethnographic research in an Australian Coastal Hotel, the paper describes the management of service encounters. Hotel staff used meetings and training sessions to simulate service scenarios, hypothesizing `customer wants and needs'. In order to do this they constructed the image of an ideal `Guest', an image that was collectively evoked in order to shape the conduct of service encounters. We claim that these imaginary service encounters mean that the `creators' of this imaginary object become increasingly subjected to its demands. The object, `The Guest', attempts to dominate its creators. The traditional demarcation between subject and object is blurred, and perhaps reversed. Drawing on the neglected work of Günther Anders, the paper inquires into the status of this object and addresses the process of its production and consumption. It demonstrates how subjects and an (imaginary) object become entangled.

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Citation

Marketing Theory, 2009, 9 (1), pp. 55-74.

Published in

Marketing Theory

Publisher

SAGE Publications

issn

1470-5931

Copyright date

2009

Available date

2010-04-14

Publisher version

http://mtq.sagepub.com/content/9/1/55

Language

en

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